Mobile Books. A smart and novel idea.

Posted: November 20, 2009 in All News, Retail

If, like me, you spend a lot of time in those dreary airport lounges,  (especially those regional ones), then you will know how mind stabbingly boring it can be. Worse still, for me, are those agonizing trips with Aunt Agatha to the ballet…but we won’t go there.

The fact is, we waste years on silly waiting and hanging around. The bad news? It’s going to get a whole lot worse.

Or is it?

Thankfully, the boffins at our skunk works, down in lobster country, have been working on ways to help you, and me, survive these moments of utter gloom.

One area of development has been looking at the retail and distribution of book and magazine content for these smartphone thingies.

Indeed, our people in white coats recently assisted in the mobile development of one such book retail product. It’s called Kobo and it’s allowed me to survive Heathrow, LAX and two agonizing renditions of Swan Lake.

Owned by Indigo Books & Music [TSX: IDG];  the Kobo  mobile app enables you to pick, buy and read book titles on your BlackBerry, iPhone, Palm or Android device.

It just show’s how mobile media has evolved since those “green screen” days of WAP books. This is thanks, in part, to new devices being churned out by the nice people at the Apple and BlackBerry factories.

Mobile book retail and distribution will go further.

I have played with some of the apps in the studio. I love the fact we  can charge purchases from the app to a pre-registered account, similar to how one buys content on iTunes.

But what I really like is the fact I can download titles to a phone’s memory card now. This means I can read Alistair MacLean at thirty thousand feet without fear of my mobile bill overtaking the Icelandic national debt.

Sadly mobile will not solve my other pet hate…people reading over my shoulder…go away Aunt Agatha! Is there an app for that?


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